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  • This is slang for 'carry a gun'

    I remember old Humphrey Bogart and detective shows where they'd call carrying a gun, carrying a piece.

    An 1889 Army Artillery manual refers to carrying a cannon as 'carrying a piece'

    A 1729 manual, refers to cannons as 'Field Pieces'.

    I'd guess that the 'carrying a cannon' reference turned into a 'carrying a big gun' slang term.

    January 15, 2013